………”that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth…..but now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11b, 16
The Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 is a favorite. The very first verse starts with, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” That is the qualifier to be found in Chapter 11. How it is fleshed out in the people mentioned, however, was very different from one another. Such people as Enoch who walked with God so closely that God took him to heaven without seeing death. Rehab, a former prostitute that did not even have opportunity to know God until she housed the Israelite spies that would destroy her city was among those named with this prestigious honor as well. There were those such as Abraham and Sarah that saw miraculous provision and fulfillment of promises, yet there were others stoned, sawed into, that had unfair trials that resulted in beating and imprisonment that Jesus said this “world was not worthy of.“
So, what is the common denominator of those who were inducted in the Hall of Faith. The two things that are most obvious to me is this: faith and knowing that this world is not our home. They knew that they were strangers and pilgrims. This old world would not understand them because they could see things that were not visible through eyes of faith. Also, they were pursuing a life past the heartache and trials of this temporary one. They were looking for the country that God has prepared for them. They were in this world, but not of this world and focused on home.
My brother David had the nickname “Pilgrim”. There were probably many reasons he was called Pilgrim. One reason may have been he dressed in cowboy attire when not in the military uniforms. He certainly was a trail blazer in uncharted territory. However, I believe he was called Pilgrim because he didn’t see this world as his home. His ways were strange and foreign to the world’s values. He spoke a different language, lived a different way and did not follow the popular path. He lived with purpose and focus on hearing someday, “Well done good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23)
So, we have to ask ourselves two important questions to live like those in Hebrews 11. Are we activating our faith in such a way that reflects that we are truly people of faith? Which world are we focusing on the most? Our focus will determine our finish! May we be named among those that have been proven faithful.